Volgograd celebrates 70th anniversary of victory in Battle of Stalingrad
A military parade was held in the main square of the city, which was earlier known as Stalingrad.
The parade was led by a T-34, the legendary tank of the Second World War.
The celebration will continue on the famous Mamayev Hill, where an honour roll with the names of the defenders of Stalingrad is due to be unveiled at a memorial cemetery, the names that have been identified by search teams in recent decades.
A concert, due tonight, will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Battle of Stalingrad is seen as a turning point in the war, with the Soviet Army seizing strategic initiative right after it.
Today Russians are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory in one of the crucial battles of the Second World War, the Battle of Stalingrad.
The main festivities are under way in Volgograd (former Stalingrad), where the Soviet troops encircled and routed, in the wake of many months of bloody fighting, a many thousand-strong Nazi Army under Field-Marshal Friedrich Paulus, on February 2nd 1943.
The festivities will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will meet the war veterans, will attend a gala concert and visit the Museum of the Defence of Stalingrad and the memorial cemetery where the city defenders were buried.
The Battle of Stalingrad went on for 200 days and nights. It amounted to a turning point in the war, with the Soviet Army seizing strategic initiative right after it.
A reception marking the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis by the Red Army at Stalingrad is to be held in the Kremlin by President Vladimir Putin.
More than 300 people have been invited including veterans of the Great Patriotic War and members of military and patriotic organizations.
The legendary Battle of Stalingrad is considered the turning point of World War II and lasted 200 days: from July 17, 1942 to February 2,1943.
Approximate losses on both sides were about 2 million people.
This battle marked the beginning of the Soviet counterattack.
The Russian city of Volgograd will be called Stalingrad again for a few days this year, to specifically celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, believed to be the turning point in World War Two.
Citing relevant requests from Russia's World War II veterans, the city government said on Thursday that Volgograd would be named “hero-city Stalingrad” on February 2, on May 9 and on June 22.
Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA